TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - There are now more healthcare options in Toledo as a new health clinic opened on Tuesday. A 100-year-old building that used to be the South Toledo library branch now has new life.
The clinic, called Compassion Health Toledo, is the first low-income clinic in south Toledo.
"The fact that this was a library in the past, I can't tell you how many people have called and talked to me and said, 'you know I used to walk to that library' and this building just means a lot to so many people in Toledo," said Compassion Health Toledo Executive Director, Dr. Anne Ruch.
The project, first announced in October 2016, had more than 100 local organizations donate funding and services for the 630,000 dollar project.
Compassion Health provides medical services for the underserved and those who do not have health insurance.
Their goal is to serve around 250 patients a week, and eventually have at least 15 paid employees, including a Spanish speaking staff.
"Many times they wait until there is something very wrong, and end up in the emergency center and we really be more proactive
and help people where they are," said Lori Johnston, the Chief Information Officer for ProMedica, and major partner in the project.
The Nuevo Esperanza Credit Union will eventually occupy the lower floor.
With the healthcare debate happening in Washington, Ruch said she's gotten a lot of questions.
"What's going to happen if there is Medicaid cuts? Or is there other reductions? And I guess the way I look at it is if that's the case, there will be more of a need for us here," said Ruch.
She hopes the clinic will continue to be a resource.
"This is a major area of high infant mortality, one of the highest in the country, and we really want to make an impact on that. There is a lot of chronic disease in this community for multiple reasons and I think we really want to bring a lot of teams together to try to address all of those issues," said Dr. Anne Ruch, executive director of Compassion Health Toledo.
The clinic provides everything from primary care to diagnostic testing, and aims to tackle major health issues in the community.